January 1, 1869: Cosima von Bülow begins her diary, which she will keep (amounting to over 5,000 pages) until the day before the death of Richard Wagner (55) in 1883.
January 1, 1869: War of the Triple Alliance: Brazilian troops enter Asunción and begin to sack the town. Argentine troops remain outside.
January 2, 1869: Modest Musorgsky (29) is appointed head clerk in the Forestry Department of the Russian Ministry of State Property.
January 2, 1869: Ivan IV the Terrible op.79 for orchestra by Anton Rubinstein (39) is performed for the first time, in the Hall of the Nobility, St. Petersburg, conducted by the composer’s brother Nikolay.
January 5, 1869: About 250 Maori followers of Te Kooti are captured at Ngatapa. 120 of them are executed by rival Maori with the approval of the colonial militia.
January 5, 1869: War of the Triple Alliance: A Brazilian army captures Asunción. Looting ensues.
January 7, 1869: Spanish forces defeat Cuban rebels at El Saladillo, killing 2,000 of them in the process, mostly newly freed slaves.
January 9, 1869: A six-party conference opens in Paris to avoid war between Greece and Turkey.
January 11, 1869: 18 years after its first publication, Richard Wagner (55) sends out from Tribschen a slightly amended Das Judenthum in Musik for republication. It will not be received well.
January 12, 1869: Richard Southwell Bourke, Earl of Mayo replaces Sir John Laird Mair Lawrence as Viceroy of India.
January 15, 1869: Spanish troops enter Bayamo which has been burned to the ground by Cuban rebels.
January 16, 1869: Symphony no.1 by Alyeksandr Borodin (35) is performed publicly for the first time, in St. Petersburg, conducted by Mily Balakirev (32). The first movement elicits a cold response, the second receives an encore and the rest creates a sensation. The composer is repeatedly called on stage. See 7 March 1868.
January 16, 1869: L’écossais de Chatou, an opérette by Léo Delibes (32) to words of Gilles and Jaime, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
January 17, 1869: 05:00 Alyeksandr Sergeyevich Dargomizhsky dies of an aneurism in St. Petersburg, aged 55 years, eleven months and three days. His earthly remains will be interred in Alyeksandr Nevsky Cemetery, St. Petersburg.
January 22, 1869: The slave trade is completely abolished in all Portuguese territories.
January 26, 1869: Illustrationen op.331, a waltz by Johann Strauss (43), is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
January 27, 1869: Remnants of the Shogunate forces create the Republic of Ezo on Ezochi Island (Hokkaido).
January 29, 1869: The first revision of Bedrich Smetana’s (44) comic opera The Bartered Bride to words of Sabina is performed for the first time, in the Provisional Theatre, Prague.
February 2, 1869: Wein, Weib und Gesang! op.333, a choral waltz by Johann Strauss, Jr. (43), is performed for the first time, in the Dianabadsaal, Vienna.
February 6, 1869: Thrasivoulos Andreou Zaimis replaces Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris as Prime Minister of Greece.
February 6, 1869: Greece agrees to accept the demands of the protecting powers (France-Great Britain-Russia) and withdraws its forces from Crete.
February 8, 1869: The paper mill owned by Moses and Charles Cheney in Henniker, New Hampshire burns down. Charles Cheney will find employment as a traveling salesman of paper products to support his wife and daughter Amy (1).
February 11, 1869: Voyevoda, an opera by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (28) to words of Ostrovsky and the composer, is performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Theatre, Moscow. Tchaikovsky is given 15 curtain calls. Critics are not as positive.
February 11, 1869: Patrick Whelan is publicly hanged at Carleton County Gaol, Ottawa for the murder last April of Thomas D’Archy McGee, MP. He maintains his innocence to the end.
February 15, 1869: Trio for strings D.581 by Franz Schubert (†40) is performed for the first time, in St. James’ Hall, London, 52 years after it was composed.
February 15, 1869: Due to the presidential proclamation of last 25 December, the trial of Jefferson Davis for treason is dropped.
February 18, 1869: Relations between Greece and Turkey, broken two months ago over Crete, are resumed.
February 18, 1869: Ein deutsches Requiem for soprano, baritone, chorus, orchestra, and organ by Johannes Brahms (35) to words from the German Bible of Martin Luther is performed completely for the first time, in the Gewandhaus, Leipzig.
February 24, 1869: Gioachino Rossini’s (†0) Petite messe solennelle is performed for the first time with orchestral accompaniment, in the Théâtre-Italien, Paris. See 14 March 1864.
February 25, 1869: Slavery is abolished throughout the Portuguese Empire.
February 26, 1869: Writing to his uncle from Tübingen, Johann Friedrich Miescher first mentions his discovery of nucleic acid.
February 27, 1869: Fatum (Fate), a symphonic poem by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (28) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
February 28, 1869: Johannes Brahms’ (35) cantata Rinaldo to words of Goethe is performed for the first time, in the Großer Redoutensaal, Vienna, conducted by the composer.
February 28, 1869: Three movements of Georges Bizet’s (30) Roma symphony are performed together for the first time, at the Cirque Napoléon (Cirque d'Hiver), Paris. It is moderately, though not universally, successful. See 12 October 1861 and 31 October 1880.
March 4, 1869: Ulysses Simpson Grant replaces Andrew Johnson as President of the United States. The 41st Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. Grant’s Republican Party increases its stranglehold on the Senate while they lose 20 seats in the House. They retain a strong majority in the House, however.
March 4, 1869: Two songs for female chorus and piano from op.44 by Johannes Brahms (35) are performed for the first time, in Basel. They are Fragen op.44/4 to traditional Slavonic words translated by Grün, and Und gehst du über den Kirchhof op.44/10, to words of Heyse.
March 5, 1869: Two works for alto, baritone and piano by Johannes Brahms (35) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Es rauscht das Wasser op.28/3 to words of Goethe, and Der Jäger und sein Liebchen op.28/4 to words of Hoffmann von Fallersleben.
March 6, 1869: Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev publishes his first version of the periodic table of elements.
March 6, 1869: The Finnish Fantasy by Alyeksandr Dargomizhsky (†0) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg.
March 9, 1869: Great Britain purchases the territories of the Hudson Bay Company.
March 10, 1869: Vert-vert, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (49) to words of Meilhac and Nuitter, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra-Comique, Paris. It is relatively successful.
March 11, 1869: The funeral in memory of Hector Berlioz takes place at L’Église de la Trinité, Paris. The procession to the church is led by Adolphe Sax who directs the National Guard band in Berlioz’ Symphonie funèbre. Illustrious attenders include Daniel Auber (87), Ambroise Thomas (57), and Charles Gounod (50). The music features works of Christoph Willibald Gluck (†81), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (†77), Ludwig van Beethoven (†41), Luigi Cherubini (†26), and the Hostias from Berlioz’ own Requiem. The mortal remains of Louis-Hector Berlioz are laid to rest in Montmartre next to those of his two wives, Harriet Smithson and Marie Recio.
March 15, 1869: The contracts of the Cincinnati Red Stockings come into effect, making them the first all-professional baseball team. The player-manager is Harry Wright.
March 16, 1869: Eljen a Magyar! op.332, a schnell-polka by Johann Strauss (43), is performed for the first time, in Pest. Also premiered is the instrumental version of Strauss’ waltz Wein, Weib und Gesang! op.333.
March 20, 1869: The Canadian government buys a huge tract called Rupert’s Land from the Hudson Bay Company. It comprises present northern Quebec and Ontario, Nunavut and the prairie provinces.
March 22, 1869: Symphony no.2 “Antar” by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (25) is performed for the first time, by the Russian Musical Society in St. Petersburg.
March 22, 1869: La diva, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (49) to words of Meilhac and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris. It is a failure.
April 3, 1869: The Board of Directors of the Russian Musical Society vote not to elect Mily Balakirev (32) to the board.
April 3, 1869: Concerto for piano and orchestra in a minor by Edvard Grieg (25) is performed for the first time, in the Casino, Copenhagen, in the presence of Queen Louise and Anton Rubinstein (39). A wildly appreciative audience interrupts the performance with applause between movements and after the first movement cadenza. The composer is in Christiania (Oslo).
April 4, 1869: King Vittorio Emmanuele II of Italy authorizes the town of Pesaro to accept the legacy left by Gioachino Rossini (†0) in his will.
April 4, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s (39) Piano Septet is performed for the first time, in Montevideo.
April 4, 1869: Königslieder op.334, a waltz by Johann Strauss (43), is performed for the first time, in the Gartenbau, Vienna.
April 5, 1869: Albert Charles Paul Marie Roussel is born in Tourcoing, French Empire, 15 km north of Lille on the Belgian border, the only child of Albert Roussel and Louise (née) Roussel, wealthy industrialists.
April 9, 1869: 7,000 Imperial troops land on Ezochi Island (Hokkaido).
April 10, 1869: A constitution for the Republic of Cuba is adopted at Guaimaro.
April 13, 1869: George Westinghouse of Schenectady, New York receives the first patent for a railroad air brake.
April 17, 1869: Edvard, Count Taafe, who has been working as Prime Minister of Austria without title since last 24 September, is given the title.
April 20, 1869: Valse caprice op.4 for piano by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (28) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
April 20, 1869: Johann Carl Gottfried Loewe dies of a stroke, in Kiel, Kingdom of Prussia, aged 72 years, four months and 21 days.
April 21, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (39) boards the steamship Kepler in Montevideo, making for Rio de Janeiro.
April 23, 1869: The Théâtre du Vaudeville is inaugurated in the boulevard des Capucines, Paris.
April 24, 1869: La cour du roi Pétaud, an opéra bouffe by Léo Delibes (33) to words of Gille and Jaime, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre des Variétés, Paris.
May 2, 1869: Vladimir Stasov sends to Alyeksandr Borodin (35) an opera scenario based on the historical epic The Lay of Igor’s Campaign and The Ipatyevsky Chronicle. The composer is delighted.
May 4, 1869: The first offshore oil rig is patented by Thomas F. Rowland of Greenpoint, New York.
May 5, 1869: Hans Erich Pfitzner is born in Moscow, Russian Empire, the second child of Carl Robert Pfitzner, a violinist and Anne Wilhelmine Henriette Reimer.
May 9, 1869: One day after the last concert of the Russian Musical Society season, Grand Duchess Yelena Pavlovna, Imperial Patroness of the RMS, informs Mily Balakirev (32) that he is removed as director. The action is probably due to Balakirev’s outspokenness and his programming of too many new works.
May 10, 1869: Almost a week of fighting in Hakodate Bay ends in the victory of Japanese Imperial forces over the Republic of Ezo.
May 10, 1869: The “Golden Spike” completing the transcontinental railroad across North America, is driven at Promontory, Utah.
May 15, 1869: A Divertimento on Slavonic Songs for flugelhorn by Bedrich Smetana (45) is performed for the first time.
May 15, 1869: The National Woman Suffrage Association is founded in New York, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
May 15, 1869: Ave maris stella by Franz Liszt (57), in the version for solo male quartet, is performed for the first time, in Regensburg.
May 17, 1869: The armed forces of the Republic of Ezo surrender to Japanese Imperial troops.
May 17, 1869: Friedrich Nietzsche, now a professor at the University of Basel, makes the first of several visits to Richard Wagner’s (55) home, Tribschen.
May 21, 1869: The one-year-old daughter of Edvard (25) and Nina Grieg dies suddenly at Landås, near Bergen.
May 25, 1869: The Imperial and Royal Court Opera Theatre in the New House, Vienna opens before a glittering audience which includes Emperor Franz Joseph. The work performed is Don Giovanni.
June 1, 1869: The second revision of Bedrich Smetana’s (45) comic opera The Bartered Bride to words of Sabina is performed for the first time, in the Provisional Theatre, Prague.
June 3, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) gives his first concert in Rio de Janeiro, before Emperor Pedro II and members of the royal family.
June 6, 1869: A third child is born to Richard Wagner (56) and Cosima von Bülow at Tribschen, a son, who is named Helferich Siegfried Richard.
June 6, 1869: A second round of voting in French legislative elections results in a plurality of seats for liberals.
June 6, 1869: A new constitution is approved in Spain, calling for representative government, equality of all citizens, separation of powers, basic freedoms, male suffrage over 25, and a monarchy.
June 8, 1869: The first United States patent for a suction principle vacuum cleaner is granted to IW McGaffey of Chicago. It is hand-pumped and meant for light dusting.
June 9, 1869: Grande Phantasia sobre motivos de Norma for two pianos by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) is performed for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro, the composer at one keyboard.
June 15, 1869: Acting President of Spain, Francisco Serrano y Dominguez, Duke de la Torre is made permanent president.
June 15, 1869: Cosima von Bülow writes from Tribschen to her husband in Munich, once again asking for a divorce.
June 15, 1869: John Wesley Hyatt receives a US patent for what will become known as celluloid. He will use it to make billiard balls and false teeth.
June 16, 1869: Henry Roscoe announces to the Royal Society in London that he has isolated metallic vanadium.
June 17, 1869: Hans von Bülow, in Munich, writes to his wife Cosima at Tribschen that he reluctantly agrees to a final separation. He entrusts the care of their two children to her. He is apparently unaware that she has just given birth to Richard Wagner’s (56) third child.
June 18, 1869: Juan Prim y Prats, marqués de los Castillejos, conde de Reus, vizconde del Bruch replaces Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio as Prime Minister of Spain.
June 18, 1869: The first Estonian Song Festival opens in Tartu. Organized by Johann Voldemar Jannsen, it attracts 800 singers, four brass bands, and 15,000 spectators.
June 18, 1869: Two works for piano by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) are performed for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro by the composer: Dernier Amour op.63 and Tremolo op.58.
June 26, 1869: The Académie des Beaux-Arts votes to award the Prix Chartier to Louise Farrenc (65) for a second time.
June 27, 1869: Admiral Enemoto Takeaki turns over the Goryokaku fortress to Imperial representatives, thus officially ending the Republic of Ezo and the Boshin War.
July 1, 1869: Hereditary priesthood is abolished in Russia.
July 3, 1869: A cog railway is completed to the top of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, a height of 1,920 meters.
July 6, 1869: John Wesley Powell and nine others depart on the first scientific exploration of the Colorado River.
July 6, 1869: Egyptischer Marsch op.335 by Johann Strauss (43) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
July 15, 1869: Chemist Hippolyte Mège Mouriès receives a French patent for “oléo-margarine”.
July 17, 1869: Justin de Chasseloup-Laubat replaces Adolphe Vuitry as Minister President of the Council of State for France.
July 18, 1869: Giuseppina Verdi writes that she and her husband (55) were nearly drowned in the lake at their villa, Sant’Agata.
July 20, 1869: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain is published in Hartford, Connecticut.
July 22, 1869: John A. Roebling dies in Brooklyn Heights, New York, at the age of 63.
July 26, 1869: Royal Assent is given to the Irish Church Act of 1869 which disestablishes the Church of Ireland. It will take effect 1 January 1871.
July 30, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) performs at the Palace of San Christorão in Rio de Janeiro for Emperor Pedro II of Brazil.
July 31, 1869: Dawn. As Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) leaves the royal palace in Rio de Janeiro, he stands in the rain for some time waiting for his carriage. By tomorrow he will be in bed with a fever.
July 31, 1869: La princesse de Trébizonde, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (50) to words of Nuitter and Tréfeu, is performed for the first time, in the Kurtheater, Baden-Baden.
August 2, 1869: The first congress of the German Social Democratic Labor Party convenes in Eisenach.
August 4, 1869: Doctors in Rio de Janeiro announce that Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) is near death with yellow fever.
August 8, 1869: Radivoje Milojkovic replaces Djordje Cenic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
August 9, 1869: In response to a request that Giuseppe Verdi (55) compose something for the opening of the Cairo Opera House and the Suez Canal, Verdi writes that he is too busy and, in any case, he does not compose occasional pieces.
August 10, 1869: Nuno José Severo de Mendoça Rolim de Moura Barreto, duque e marquês de Loulé, conde de Vale de Reis replaces Bernardo de Sá Nogueira de Figueiredo, visconde e barão de Sá Bandeira as Prime Minister of Portugal.
August 12, 1869: War of the Triple Alliance: Brazilians overrun the last Paraguayan stronghold at Piribebuy.
August 13, 1869: John Wesley Powell and his party exploring the Colorado River enter the Grand Canyon.
August 13, 1869: Le Dernier sorcier, an operetta by Pauline Viardot (48) to words of Turgenev, is performed for the first time, in a little theatre and concert hall in the garden of the Viardot residence in Baden-Baden.
August 15, 1869: The allies set up a provisional government for Paraguay at Asunción.
August 16, 1869: War of the Triple Alliance: The last Paraguayan force in the field (many of whom are old men, women, and boys) are overrun by Brazilians at Acosta Ñu.
August 19, 1869: Hans von Bülow departs Munich and his positions there. He is unable to remain in the place where his marriage failed. He will eventually live in Florence.
August 22, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) arrives in Valença, a mountain retreat 90 km northwest of Rio de Janeiro, while convalescing with yellow fever.
August 24, 1869: Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York receives a US patent for his waffle iron.
September 5, 1869: The foundation stone for Schloss Neuschwanstein is laid.
September 6, 1869: Fire breaks out in the Avondale Colliery near Plymouth, Pennsylvania. Over 100 people are killed.
September 6, 1869: Im Krapfenwald’l op.336, a polka française by Johann Strauss (43), is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
September 7, 1869: John Knowles Paine (30) marries Mary Elizabeth Greeley, daughter of William E. Greeley, a Cambridge merchant, and Myra A. Smith Greeley, in Cambridge.
September 8, 1869: The Prodigal Son, an oratorio by Arthur Sullivan (27) to his own words after the Bible, is performed for the first time, in Worcester.
September 12, 1869: Recovered from yellow fever, and after performances in Santos and São Paulo, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) arrives back in Rio de Janeiro.
September 20, 1869: The island of Ezochi is renamed Hokkaido.
September 20, 1869: Jay Gould and James Fisk start hoarding gold, in an attempt to corner the market and drive up the price.
September 21, 1869: The governor of Tarragona, Spain is murdered by a republican mob.
September 22, 1869: Louischen-Polka française op.339 by Johann Strauss (43) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
September 22, 1869: The Vorabend to Der Ring des Nibelungen, Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner (56) to his own words, is performed for the first time, in the Königliches Hof-und Nationaltheater, Munich. The production has been forced by King Ludwig against the wishes of the composer. Among those in attendance is Franz Liszt (57). See 13 August 1876.
September 24, 1869: Attempting to thwart the plan of Jay Gould and James Fisk to corner the gold market, US President Grant orders the government to sell $4,000,000 in gold. The price of gold instantly drops precipitously and thousands of gold speculators are ruined.
September 25, 1869: Spanish governors are given power to suppress republican organizations.
September 28, 1869: Aristide Berges becomes the first to convert a waterfall into electrical energy at his paper plant in the French Alps. He will coin the term “hydroelectricity.”
September 29, 1869: Mass no.2 in e for chorus, woodwinds, and brass by Anton Bruckner (45) is performed for the first time, outside Linz Cathedral for the consecration of the Votivkapelle.
October 1, 1869: The first prestamped postcard is issued in Austria. It was invented by Emmanuel Herrman of Vienna.
October 3, 1869: Dance from Jølster, Sofager and the Snake-King, and Peasant Dance from the 25 Norwegian Folksongs and Dances op.17 for piano by Edvard Grieg (26) are performed for the first time, in the Casino-Theater, Copenhagen by the composer. Also premiered is Grieg’s Moonlit Forest op.18/1 for voice and piano to words of Andersen by the composer and his wife.
October 4, 1869: Maori led by Te Kooti are decisively defeated by Colonial militia and their Maori allies at Te Porere.
October 5, 1869: Slovianka-Quadrille op.338 by Johann Strauss (43) is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
October 6, 1869: Ten of the Liebeslieder Waltzes op.52 for vocal quartet and piano four hands by Johannes Brahms (36) are performed for the first time, in Karlsruhe. See 5 January 1870.
October 10, 1869: Von der Börse op.337, a polka française by Johann Strauss (43), is performed for the first time, in Pavlovsk.
October 11, 1869: Canadians of mixed descent led by Louis Riel stop a survey team near Winnipeg, thus beginning the Red River Rebellion.
October 23, 1869: Hubert Parry (21) is elected President of the Exeter College Musical Society’s standing committee.
October 29, 1869: A setting of Locus iste for chorus by Anton Bruckner (45) is performed for the first time, in the Votivkapelle des neuen Doms, Linz.
October 31, 1869: Variations de concert sur l’hymne portugais for piano and orchestra by Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40), composed to honor King Luis I of Portugal and Emperor Pedro II of Brazil, is performed for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro.
November 1, 1869: The Cairo Opera House is inaugurated with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s (56) Rigoletto.
November 2, 1869: Métis led by Louis Riel seize Upper Fort Garry (Winnipeg), the center of the Hudson’s Bay Company on the Red and Assiniboine rivers. They will hold it until a province of Manitoba is created.
November 4, 1869: Nature: a Weekly Illustrated Journal of Science is published for the first time, in England by Norman Lockyer.
November 6, 1869: The first intercollegiate American football game takes place in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Final score: Rutgers 6, Princeton 4.
November 17, 1869: The Suez Canal is opened in the presence of Empress Eugènie of France, Emperor Franz Joseph II of Austria-Hungary, and Ferdinand de Lesseps.
November 19, 1869: The Hudson’s Bay Company agrees to the Deed of Surrender, turning over Rupert’s Land (containing parts of present Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nunuvut, and the Northwest Territories) to Britain, and thence to Canada, for £300,000.
November 22, 1869: The clipper Cutty Sark is launched at Dumbarton on the Clyde, Scotland.
November 24, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) directs an enormous performance of 650 musicians in the Teatro Lyrico Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro. Included is the first performance of his orchestral work, Marche solennelle.
November 25, 1869: Concerto for piano and orchestra no.3 op.29 by Camille Saint-Saëns (34) is performed for the first time, in the Leipzig Gewandhaus, conducted by the composer. The work is badly received in Leipzig, even sparking a loud argument in the audience at the beginning of the slow movement.
November 25, 1869: After lying exhausted in bed all day, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) appears for a performance at the Teatro Lyrico Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro. He plays ten to twelve bars of his Tremelo, grande étude de concert op.58 and collapses from appendicitis. Doctors, unaware of his affliction, treat him with opiates.
November 26, 1869: Georg Albrecht replaces Albrecht as Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.
November 26, 1869: Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40), in agonizing pain, appears to conduct the second of the large festival performances in Rio de Janeiro. Before he mounts the podium, he collapses again and is carried off to his hotel where he is attended by the personal physician to Emperor Pedro.
November 29, 1869: Canada takes possession of all lands of the Hudson Bay Company.
November 29, 1869: Orville Babcock, personal representative of US President Grant, signs a treaty to annex Santo Domingo to the United States.
November 29, 1869: On the 72nd anniversary of the composer’s birth, the first version of Gaetano Donizetti’s (†21) tragedia lirica Gabriella di Vergy to words of Tottola after Du Belloy is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Carlo, Naples, 43 years after it was composed. The work has been considerably altered for this production.
December 8, 1869: The First Vatican Council is convened by Pope Pius IX.
December 8, 1869: Stanislaw Moniuszko’s (50) choral ballad Pani Twardowska to words of Mickiewicz is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
December 8, 1869: Because of a summer heat wave, Louis Moreau Gottschalk (40) is moved to Tijuca, twelve km from downtown Rio de Janeiro.
December 10, 1869: Les brigandes, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (50) to words of Meilhac and Halévy, is performed for the first time, at the Variétés, Paris.
December 10, 1869: The Territory of Wyoming grants women the right to vote, the first state or territory in the United States to do so.
December 11, 1869: Paria, an opera by Stanislaw Moniuszko (50) to words of Checinski after Delavigne, is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
December 11, 1869: La romance de la rose, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach (50) to words of Tréfeu and Prével, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
December 12, 1869: Giovanni Lanza replaces Federico Luigi, Count Menabrea as Prime Minister of Italy.
December 12, 1869: Islamey, an oriental fantasy for piano by Mily Balakirev (32) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg.
December 12, 1869: Im Gägenwartigen Vergangenes D.710 for male vocal quartet and piano by Franz Schubert (†41) to words of Goethe is performed for the first time, in Vienna, 48 years after it was composed.
December 13, 1869: Modest Musorgsky (30) is promoted to the rank of Collegiate Assessor in the Forestry Department of the Russian Ministry of State Property.
December 14, 1869: At Tijuca, near Rio de Janeiro, where he had gone to escape the summer heat, Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s (40) appendix bursts and, although he is no longer in pain, he shortly becomes delirious. He develops peritonitis.
December 18, 1869: Dawn. Louis Moreau Gottschalk dies at Tijuca, Empire of Brazil, of peritonitis following a burst appendix, aged 40 years, seven months, and ten days.
December 19, 1869: After lying in state in the rooms of the Philharmonic Society, thousands of onlookers watch as the mortal remains of Louis Moreau Gottschalk are laid to rest in the Cemitério São João Batista, Rio de Janeiro.
December 20, 1869: Rêve d’amour, an opéra comique by Daniel Auber (87) to words of d’Ennery and Cormon, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. It is Auber’s last opera.
December 22, 1869: Three songs by Johannes Brahms (36) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Wie bist du, meine Königin op.32/9, to words of Hafis, Am Sonntag Morgen zierlich angetan op.49/1, and Wiegenlied op.49/4.